Gallup: Obama One of Most Polarizing Presidents in History
By John Blosser
President Barack Obama, who campaigned on a promise to unify America, instead has become the most polarizing president in modern history.
A Gallup Poll finds that the gap in Obama’s approval rating in his sixth year in office between those who like him, Democrats, and those who do not, Republicans, has held steady at 70 percent, with 79 percent of Democrats voicing approval and only 9 percent of Republicans doing likewise.
Since the days of President Dwight Eisenhower, in 1953, only one president has equaled Obama’s polarization effect in the sixth year of his presidency, George W. Bush, who won the approval of 79 percent of Republicans but only 9 percent of Democrats in his sixth year in office.
However, Obama’s average 70 percent gap has held true throughout his entire presidency, Gallup notes, “which, if it continues, would be easily the highest for any president to date.”
CNN commented, “His tenure has been one of the most polarizing overall of any modern president. Each of his six years in office have ranked in the top 10 most polarized since 1953, with President George W. Bush taking the other four slots.
“And, as an election looms, the polarization escalates.”
This from a president who, The Boston Globe noted, promised in 2007, “I don’t want to pit red America against blue America. I want to be president of the United States of America” and said in 2008 that he intended to fix a political system which is “stuck in this deeply polarized pattern.”
On the night of his election, the Globe recalls, Obama stated, “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”
However, the Globe notes, “Yet far from resisting that temptation, Obama has rarely bypassed the chance to indulge it. The would-be uniter whips up envy and resentment, demonizing those who disagree with him, and aggravating the nation’s racial, class, and party.
“Bush’s most polarized years were his fourth through seventh years in office, after the rally in support for him following the 9/11 terror attacks had faded,” Gallup notes.
“Both Bush and Obama were elected with hopes of unifying the country. However, the opposite has happened, at least in the way Americans view the job the president is doing, with presidential evaluations more divided along party lines than ever before,” Gallup commented.